Diego Rivera, 1886-1957

Rivera was born in the city of Guanajuato in 1886 and at the very early age of three began to draw. He studied in the San Carlos Academy from 1896 to 1905 as a pupil of Santiago Rebull, Salomé Piña, Félix Parra, José María Velasco and Antonio Fabrés. With the help of the promoter and painter Gerardo Murillo (Dr. Atl) he gave an exhibition in 1907. Later he went to Spain thanks to a scholarship awarded to him by the Porfirian governor, and his travels to Europe enabled him to come into contact with Renaissance, Cubist and avant-garde works. His work shows study and analysis of neoimpressionism, Cézannism, Fauvism and Cubism. He experimented with oils, pastels, watercolors, fresco, encaustic and tempera on cloth, cardboard, papaer and pressed cork. Before returning to Mexico, he visited Italy where he saw and was impressed by Renaissance frescoes. His first mural, The Creation, painted in 1922, was for the Simón Bolívar Amphiteather of the National Preparatory School. The same year he was one of the organizers of the Technical and Plastic Workers´Union. In 1930 he went to the United States, where he painted murals in San Francisco and Detroit and in New York, one for the Rockefeller Center, which was destroyed. In 1938, Rivera and Breton signed the "Manifesto for a revolutionary and free art". He died in 1957, having explored political themes in his career as a muralist and easel painter.